Local Living Wage Laws Are in Republican Crosshairs in Wisconsin
The party of local control is at it again. Tuesday, Wisconsin Assembly Bill 750 was fast tracked for a public hearing Wednesday, February 12th. Assembly Bill 750 will prohibit local governments from passing living wage ordinances. The text of the bill states:
Under current law, a city, village, town, or county may not enact and administer an ordinance establishing a living wage, which is defined under current law as
compensation sufficient to enable an employee to maintain himself or herself under
conditions consistent with his or her welfare. Current law, however, exempts from
that prohibition an ordinance that requires an employee of a county, city, village, or
town, an employee who performs work under a contract for the provision of services
to a county, city, village, or town, or an employee who performs work that is funded
by financial assistance from a county, city, village, or town to be paid at a minimum
wage rate specified in the ordinance.
This bill eliminates that exemption, thereby prohibiting a city, village, town, or
county from enacting and administering an ordinance that requires an employee of
the county, city, village, or town, an employee who performs work under a contract
for the provision of services to the county, city, village, or town, or an employee who
performs work that is funded by financial assistance from the county, city, village,
or town to be paid at a minimum wage rate specified in the ordinance.
So the party of local government is once again putting up an obviously corporate sponsored bill to prevent local government units from doing what they feel is best for their own communities. In Madison, employees covered under Madison's living wage ordinance earn at least $12.45 an hour, up from $12.19 in 2013. The city's living wage is adjusted annually and is equal to 110 percent of the federal poverty line.
Assembly Bill 750 comes to the Wisconsin Assembly floor just after the Milwaukee County board voted to pay Milwaukee County employees and contractors at least $11.32 an hour, under a "living wage" ordinance the County Board approved Thursday.
Governor Walker and the Wisconsin GOP has failed the people of Wisconsin time and again. When local municipalities step up to the plate and try to help those in their communities, the Republican party comes in and takes away local control. This has happened repeatedly since the Republican Cabal came into power here in Wisconsin. Governing in Wisconsin is no longer about meeting the needs of your constituents—it has become about meeting the needs of corporate donors as it is obvious that this bill was not proposed by someone working for minimum wage.